Let's face it, in today’s day and age we easily spend more than half of our day sitting down. We are seated when we have our meals, commuting in a car, bus or train, at home watching television, and mostly importantly all those hours on the computer during work.
It is reported that in US, work related musculoskeletal disorders are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. Thus, good ergonomic is crucial not only for the wellness of the employees, but also for the company as a whole.
Common musculoskeletal disorder symptoms associated with bad sitting posture while using a computer:
- Strained wrists or fingers or RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
- Pain or stiffness at the lumbar, neck and shoulders.
- Pain or stiffness at the elbows.
- Tight hamstrings and hip flexors.
Even if good ergonomic is practiced at your workplace, the odds of you developing pain and strain, though reduced, is not entirely preventable. Here is a complete list of essential stretches you can do seated on your office chair at your desk to further minimise discomfort and protect your joints, muscles and ligaments.
Office stretches to do while seated to prevent musculoskeletal disorder:
Raise your ribs up and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Take slow deep breaths and hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
Try to keep your legs straight and reach for your toes. Bend one knee if you find it too difficult to reach.
Keep your chest up and pull the biceps towards your ear.
Clasp your hands together and reach for the ceiling. Gently tilt to one side and then the other.
Keep your chest up with a neutral spine. Tilt your head from one side to the other. Next lift your head up and down.
Hug your legs and pull your chest towards your knees. Round your back to stretch the lower back muscles and take slow and deep breaths.
Keep your spine neutral and twist your torso towards one side while pulling your thighs with your opposing hand for leverage.
Stand up and grab your ankle and pull it towards your butt. Be extra careful not to fall especially if you are using a chair with wheels.
Put one leg behind the other and push your heels towards the floor. Be extra careful not to fall especially if you are using a chair with wheels.
Perform these stretches once to twice a day. On top of the stretches, stand up and take a 5 to 10 minute walk after every 30 to 40 minutes. Not only does this simple exercise help promote blood circulation, it could also make you feel more refreshed and remain alert.
Exercising and staying active by playing sports or going to a group class, yoga or the gym can help further reduce your risk of developing musculoskeletal disorder.